Joining the Office of Trade and Labor Affairs (OTLA) means making a difference in the lives of workers in the United States and around the world!  OTLA is the voice of the Labor Department in U.S. international trade and investment policy.  We work to protect the rights of American workers and workers around the world by negotiating strong labor rights provisions in our trade agreements, emphasizing the importance of labor rights in trade policy, enforcing those commitments, and funding projects around the world to help promote worker rights.  We focus heavily on free trade agreements and trade preference programs.  As part of our team, you will not only help shape U.S. trade and labor policies and engagements with other countries – you will also help protect workers’ basic rights, including freedom of association, collective bargaining, and non-discrimination, and help prohibit the use of child labor and forced labor, as well as help make a fairer playing field for U.S. businesses.  

OTLA is highly interested in having a diverse pool of applicants with experience in worker rights, international development and economics, comparative labor law, and on-the-ground experience in designing and implementing international technical assistance programs.

For a listing of all available jobs in OTLA, job application guides, and useful tips and tutorials for applicants, please visit the following websites:

  • OTLA Job Opportunities
  • USAJOBS: To conduct a broad search for jobs available in OTLA on USAJOBS, we suggest putting in the following search words, ILAB and OTLA.  We also suggest setting up an auto-notification for new job postings.

Who We Are

The Office of Trade and Labor Affairs is a team of highly motivated professionals trained and equipped to negotiate strong labor provisions in U.S. trade policy, monitor and enforce these provisions through tracking other trade partners countries’ laws and practices, and provide technical assistance to trade partner countries willing to improve compliance with their international commitments.  We are passionate about our work and look forward to expanding the team.  

The Work of OTLA

Our work is divided into four divisions: the Trade Policy Negotiations division (TPN), which negotiates labor commitments in free trade agreements, enforces labor requirements of trade preference programs, and works on international development and project finance; the Monitoring and Enforcement of Trade Agreement division (META), which enforces the labor provisions of free trade agreements; the Technical Assistance and Cooperation division (TAC), which oversees technical assistance projects to improve countries’ adherence to trade commitments, and the Operations division (OPs), which supports the day-to-day operations of the whole office.

Diversity Policy

OTLA aims to foster a culture of promoting and supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce as it is key to achieving our underlying mission of ensuring that U.S. trade agreements are fair for American workers and workers worldwide. We believe in respecting and leveraging the creativity and unique experiences and backgrounds individuals bring to the job.   With this goal in mind, OTLA along with the rest of the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) ensure that principles of diversity and inclusion are included in all aspects of personnel policies, program practices, and operations to attract and retain the best, brightest, and hardest working professionals.